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Civil Liberties Group Challenges Leaders to Come Clean on No-Fly Lists

Gilles Duceppe, Bloc québécois
Steven Harper, Conservative Party of Canada
Jack Layton, New Democratic Party of Canada
Paul Martin, Liberal Party of Canada

Re: An Open Letter to Party Leaders on No-Fly Lists

The government has announced that it will be implementing a no-fly list in Canada in 2006.
Despite the unmitigated disaster of the U.S. experience with no-fly lists and the fact that thereappears to be not a single piece of evidence to suggest that no-fly lists increase public safety, the government has determined that it will move forward to prevent secretly selected Canadian citizens from boarding airplanes. As the American experience has shown, such programs are not only highly vulnerable to abuse, they are also open to ridicule: see infants, Senators, etc. being denied the right to travel by air in the U.S.

The Canadian no-fly list is said to be authorized under the Public Safety Act 2002, an omnibus piece of legislation that has generated serious and persistent criticism. Our Association has been vigorously involved in all the Canadian anti-terrorism and security legislation. We made a submission on the Public Safety Act. We have no recollection of no-fly lists being any part of the public debate. If no-fly lists were “envisioned” under the Public Safety Act 2002, the government appears to have kept its visioning a very well kept secret.

As such, we are now facing the potential of a program that represents a massive infringement
of Canadians basic rights and civil liberties and there has been no genuine level of democratic process and Parliamentary debate in this program.

The BC Civil Liberties Association asks you to commit to keeping no-fly lists out of Canada.
If you cannot make that commitment, we ask that you commit to operating through straightforward,  clear enabling legislation. The Canadian public deserves elected leaders who will openly take  responsibility for civil liberties.

Yours truly,
Jason Gratl, President